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Who ate all the pies

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Six of the best shootouts this side of a John Wayne film

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1. Holland 0-0 Italy, 1-3 on penalties (Euro 2000)
An exhilarating match followed by an exhilarating shootout. Despite playing with 10 men from the 33rd minute, Holland dominated the match and failed to convert two penalties in normal time. In the shootout Francesco Toldo was the hero as he made three saves (to add to the penalty save he had made in the match itself).

Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel races all the way back from Croatia’s half to get back to his own penalty area. And for all it matters he might as well have started breakdancing on the centre-circle. Schmeichel makes it back to his goal-line just in time to run out again and be lobbed by Davor Suker. As elegant a chip as you are likely to see.

The tournament’s dark horse? Not really… TURKEY (Group A) Group-mates Portugal (7 June, Geneva), Switzerland (11 June, Basel), Czech Rep. (15 June, Geneva) Three most valuable players 1) Nihat Kahveci The attacking midfielder (pictured), who can also play up front, had a fine season for Villareal and will be one to watch. 2) Tuncay Sanli […]

This is how the Swiss roll (lame pun alert)… SWITZERLAND (Group A) Group-mates Czech Rep. (7 June, Basel), Turkey (11 June, Basel), Portugal (15 June, Basel) Three most valuable players 1) Alexander Frei Recently became his country’s leading all-time scorer. The Swiss rely massively on his goals, but he rarely lets them down. Frei seems […]

John Terry is “always on the England team”, apparently Legend. That is all. [Via our friends at The Spoiler] Watch the full interview after the click…

Fiendishness with a European flavour1. Career path Boavista, Benfica, Fiorentina, Benfica (current) 2. Multiple choice Euro 2012 will be hosted by which two countries? a) Poland & Hungary, b) Poland & Ukraine, c) Poland & Latvia, d) Poland & Belarus 3. Picture round Who’s wearing shades? 4. Team-mates Roland Linz, Martin Harnik and Ronald Gercaliu […]

Make money whilst enjoying the Euros, with Pies’s top tips… (prices correct at time of posting) 1. Lukas Podolski to be top goalscorer: 25/1 (Blue Square) Germany will surely go far in Austria & Switzerland (it’ll be like a home event for them) and they have always been great bullies of lesser teams. L-Pod scored […]

Dennis Pennis creator Paul Kaye on top form, as ever Give Paul Kaye a knighthood now. Or an OBE, at least. More Paul Kaye football vids… Kaye as Labian Quest, football chant composer Kaye gives hooligan lessons in self-defence (classic)

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THEN: Ronnie Ekelund has the strange claim to fame of having played Premier League football for two seasons without ever having signed for a Premier League club. The story goes that Barcelona boss Johann Cruyff and his old friend Alan Ball, then Southampton manager, were reunited when the two clubs stayed at the same hotel. When Cruyff asked his old mucker what he would like as a parting gift, Ball replied: “A left-sided midfielder.” He woke the next morning to find a Barcelona tracksuit-clad Ekelund waiting in the lobby. The Dane soon linked up well with Matt Le Tissier and made an impressive start to his Saints career. He scored five goals in 17 appearances. A permanent move never materialised because Ekelund refused to have surgery on a back injury. He had brief loan spells at Manchester City and Coventry City, but injuries prevented him making an impact.

Pies tells you almost all you need to know about the Brazil of Europe PORTUGAL (Group A) Group-mates Turkey (7 June, Geneva), Czech Rep. (11 June, Geneva), Switzerland (15 June, Basel) Three most valuable players 1) Cristiano Ronaldo After Lionel Messi C-Ron is the most dangerous attacking force in football. If he wants to be […]

Long-haired Czech shows great Euro vision This goal has just been voted the best individual effort in the history of the Euros. And I have to admit that it is a lovely, lovely solo goal, and one that helped the Czechs overcome Portugal in the quarter finals; they made it all the way to the […]

Hull’s players get carried away about going up…

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Hull City’s Wayne Brown and Boaz Myhill discovered there is nothing quite like securing promotion to the Premier League to create a bit of passion between team-mates. Just look at Brown: one arm round the back, the other in some strange headlock, eyes closed and lips puckered up. He is loving it!

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When Stoke City secured promotion to the Premier League, Pies immediately sensed Derby County the sequel. But now Hull City are following them up there could be a genuine battle to be the next Premier League’s worst team.

The best bits (i.e. the goals) from England’s win against the lame Yanks Gerrard’s goal was by far the best thing about the game: lovely pass by Barry, lovely finish by Stevie G. Bonus vid of France’s defeat of Ecuador after the break. Well worth watching to see the first of Bafetimbi Gomis’s two goals.

Pies’ essential lowdown on the bouncy Czechs Group-mates Switzerland (7 June, Basel), Portugal (11 June, Geneva), Turkey (15 June, Geneva) Three most valuable players 1) Petr Cech, Chelsea’s imposing goalie 2) Jan Koller, veteran striker still capable of striking fear into defenders’ hearts 3) Jaroslav Plasil, a wide midfielder who always seems to raise his […]

AC Milan’s new signing not good enough for France, apparently France coach Raymond Domenech obviously disagrees with the judgment of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. Mathieu Flamini, much coveted by Wenger, has been left out of France’s 23-man squad for Euro 2008, whereas Lassana Diarra, let go by Wenger, has been included. So, a Portsmouth player […]

Gavin Peacock is going to be a priest (honestly). Here’s Gav and five other God botherers.

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This Arsenal away kit is a high profile example of a Shit Kit. The sickly yellow and black outfit donned by the Gunners in the early 1990s has been confined to history as the ‘bruised banana’ shirt (for obvious reasons). Arsenal have had a few dangerous flirtations with the colour yellow, but this effort is by far the worst.

Irish chart botherers to serenade Roo’s missus Westlife will perform at the wedding of Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin. Westlife are apparently Coleen’s favourite band. How vomit-inducing sweet. The couple are getting married on 14 June in Italy and are rumoured to be spending £3m on the bash, thanks mostly to OK! magazine. God knows […]

Italy’s Euro 08 training session interrupted by streakers You get a higher class of streaker in Italy, clearly.

David James A spectator for most of the match. Made one save of note, keeping out a weak Freddy Adu shot. 7 Wes Brown Usually appears less confident for England than his club, and this was no exception. Fine at the back, less so going forward. 5 Rio Ferdinand Perfectly assured, never looked in trouble. […]

JT and Stevie G sink Team Soccerball

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1. It was a decent performance against a poor side – nothing more and nothing less. Did we learn anything? Not really.

Burger King viral ad is great… for 40 seconds anyway This (mostly) enjoyable video has been made to promote Burger King’s new “Football Your Way” campaign, which aims to take a pop at the prawn sandwich brigade.

Fabio Capello finds out immediately the dangers of speaking in English at press conferences. He’s looking forward to seeing John Lampard play, apparently.

Big names who won’t be in Austria/Switzerland next month (from nations that have qualified) Raul (Spain) The Real Madrid captain failed to make the Spanish squad after falling out with head coach Luis Aragones following the 3-2 loss to Northern Ireland in 2006, during the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. Will Spain miss him? Probably not, […]